Get into the Florida Swing; plenty of good golf around the Honda Classic at PGA National
Professional golf takes another geographical turn this week with the start of the PGA Tour’s Florida Swing (check out Brandon Tucker’s story) at the Honda Classic at PGA National Resort & Spa.
The resort, home to 90 holes of golf, has a lot of history, including hosting a Ryder Cup and the PGA Senior Championship. While it’s unavailable to most of us this week, it really is a Mecca for golf in South Florida and a heck of a nice place to stay. The Champion Course, home of Jack Nicklaus’ famous Bear Trap, has been tweaked and prodded over the years to become a real modern classic. And the spa – especially with its waters of the world – is also a treat.
Fortunately, it’s hardly the only quality golf in the area, from the Palm Beaches all the way up to PGA Golf Club in Port St. Lucie. And this time of year, for good measure, we’ve also got baseball’s spring training. What a time to be in Florida.
Although Palm Beach County has lots of exclusive clubs, there are some really good resort/daily fee and public options as well. For example, North Palm Beach Country Club is terrific (albeit difficult), and the redesigned course is one of only two Jack Nicklaus-designed municipal courses in the country.
If you like typical Florida golf, you need look no further than the Joe Lee-designed Palm Beach National Golf Club with its water, fountains, sand and island greens. Hammock Creek Golf Club, just north of Palm Beach County near Stuart, is the first course designed by Nicklaus and Jack Jr. And President Country Club in West Palm Beach has 36 holes and lots of water, especially on the Eagle Course, which was recently redesigned by Robert Trent Jones II.
One of my favorites in the area, however, isn’t a championship course but a par 3. Owned by the city of Palm Beach, the Palm Beach Par 3 Golf Course sits right between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway on some expensive real estate. The all-paspalum course, redesigned recently by Raymond Floyd, is favored among tour pros and celebrities alike, but can be played on the cheap.
And if you go a little north, you can check out PGA Village in Port St. Lucie. Owned by the PGA of America, there are two terrific Tom Fazio courses as well as a Pete Dye course. Plus, the practice facilities there are among the best in the country. Right now, they’re offering spring training baseball/golf packages for those who like to get in both. Just go to PGAVillage.com to check out packages.
|« Manage the package for a smooth golf trip||Black Gold Golf Club in California: Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side »|